We are witnessing an erosion of trust across the globe. With the inauguration of a new President all deals are off. Nothing is being honoured, not even the respect that should be given to another country’s democratically elected leader.
In years past deals were made on a handshake. A person’s word was their oath. There was no need for written agreements that contain copious pages of fine print that no-one has the time to read but wishes they had when something goes wrong.
As the economy shifts more and more into the digital space companies are becoming more and more ruthless in their efforts to make money. Your personal data, purchasing habits and interests are being sold by all and sundry without your knowledge (unless you have actually taken the time to read the fine print in the terms and conditions attached to that loyalty card, rewards card or online game).
Trust is being eroded at an alarming rate as we become increasingly focused on ourselves. Fear feeds protectionism, tearing peoples apart. There is a real risk that Trumpism and the platform which it feeds off will grow to other democracies.
At some point this has to stop. History has shown us that personal gain over the needs of others never ends well.
We can idly sit and watch the world slide ever further down the path of legalism, racism, border control, intolerance and greed, or we can choose to change the world one person at a time.
Sociologists have suggested that even the most isolate individual will influence over 10,000 people in their lifetime. Change can happen with you.
Trust is the thing that underpins every relationship. Without trust there is no relationship. Interactions become hurtful, demeaning and destructive.
But trust can be restored. How we choose to behave is within our power. The birth of trust comes when a person chooses to put another’s needs before their own; when I choose to put others before me. Life is not a game to be won.
For leaders, trust grows when we put aside our own ego and approach our roles as a servant rather than someone who is the most important man (or woman) in the room.
Trust flourishes when a leader consciously considers their practices and how they impact the people they seek to grow.
There is hope. It begins in the way we choose to live life and lead others.